One of the first things you learn when looking a property is that no place is 100% what you want and need.  It’s a question of how much of your needs are met, and what’s not, and are the red flags deal-breakers.

Right now, we’re still vetting the land.  Big questions are:

  • Fire Department – will they approval construction here? (meaning we need to give them plans to look at)
  • Geology — is it stable? (meaning we need to give them plans to look at how things fit on the land)
  • What is it we don’t know?

The last one is always the hard one–there’s a ton of disclosure laws, but it really is up to the buyer to check title, and easements, and everything else.  We already know we don’t have an existing well on the property–something we were looking for.  So that’s on the down side of things.  On the other side, it’s got great wind access, so power won’t be an issue.  Ever.  And we should be able to make do with a cistern, gray water system, low water use container gardening, local-plant landscaping (meaning xerascape, and no lawns), and then back-up connection to city water.

On the other downside, the land is not that far from what once was the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.  The bad part of that is that they used to play around with rockets here–and nuclear reactors.

 They used to get rid of toxic chemicals by blowing up barrels of the stuff with rifle shots.  Makes you wonder.  There’s been various spills, cleanups, fines, and then in 2007, “In a landmark agreement between Boeing and California officials, nearly 2,400 acres of land that is currently Boeing’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory will become state parkland…the property will be donated and preserved as a vital undeveloped open-space link in the Santa Susana Mountains above Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley.”   So, good news and bad.  A drawback, but we’ve also lived even closer to what used to be Lockeed’s Burbank facility.  And these days it’s hard to escape any of this stuff.

So, a red flag, but not a deal breaker.  But we still have plans to file, and geology to map, and a few other hurdles to clear.

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5 Responses to Drawbacks

  1. sampalahnuk says:

    Thanks to Nancy for making everyone aware of this.

  2. Slightly increased levels of background radiation may (and I repeat may) actually be a good thing! See:



    • Interesting thought, but I’m not sure you’d want to live on a superfund cleanup site (by definition, I think that’s land tagged as unhealthy). It’s probably the naturally occurring stuff that’s not too bad.

  3. I agree, it would make me nervous. I was just looking for a silver lining. The point really being that we have no idea what the long term effect of many of these things are, so like you said, it’s a red flag, but not a deal breaker. I have a similar issue here on Cape Cod where we just moved. We are near Otis Air National Guard Base which has it’s very own toxic plume effecting the local water table (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otis_Air_National_Guard_Base#Environmental_issues).

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